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Friday, August 24, 2007

Greed Disguised

A few weeks ago we talked on Sunday morning about the Rich Ruler Luke 12 who was so greatly blessed by God but lost it all because he failed to be “rich toward God.” This is not an unfamiliar parable, but I saw it in a whole new light as we studied this time. I saw the sin of greed in this man’s life. Not the type of overt greed that we congratulate ourselves for not falling victim to. I saw the subtle greed that we as blessed American’s are so susceptible too. Greed that wears a disguise. Greed disguised as stewardship.
We all desire to be good stewards of God’s blessing in our lives. Truthfully, if I could not read in the text that God condemned this man, I would be tempted to put him forth as an example of good stewardship. What did he do when he received this blessing? He didn’t squander it like the prodigal son. (Lk. 15) He didn’t bury it in the ground like the unprofitable servant. (Matt. 25) All he did was invest in his future, but he failed to be “rich toward God” Greed disguised as stewardship is so hard for us to see because it takes good practices to an ungodly extreme. Greedy people are savers, and saving is a good thing. Greedy people are planners, and planning is a good thing. Greedy people want to make sure their financial future is secure, and that is a good thing. Don’t allow these good principals of stewardship to be turned into sinful characteristics of greed. Unfortunately, when I think about some of the strongest statements I have heard from fellow Christians regarding being responsible with money and being good stewards of God’s blessings they were all too often nothing more than well disguised excuses for not being “rich toward God.”
In this land of plenty that we have been blessed to live, may we never forget the source of those blessings. Listen to the words of Paul in 1 Timothy 6:17, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”